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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Seen Sunday March 2, 2008 @ the AMC Loews 34th St. 14, screen #14, 15-20 people. 3 Slithy Toads

This hadn't been on my list to see, but my younger brother said he and my nephews had liked, and so why not... with AMC's AMCinema program it's only $6. I haven't read the books, can't say I even want to. You've got most of the basic ingredients of a kids fantasy, with a likable family with family problems that can be solved over the course of 90 minutes, and basic if uninspired fantasy elements. The family moving into mysterious house is a fixture of kids fantasies and also of many horror novels. You've got some big negatives. The kids occasionally go too far in the direction of doing idiotic things because the plot requres but which go beyond even the usual level of stupid things that kids will do. The ending has some total off moments; why bother bringing Lucy back to the house as an 86-year-old looking like Rose returning to the Titanic if you're just going to have her become a 6-year-old two seconds later? It's got one super-huge plus. Freddie Highmore's performance is so good, and the digital technology so excellent, that I almost couldn't believe he had played two roles in the movie. It's not like the old days, like Burt and alien Burt on opposite sides of the screen in season 2 of Soap. Take the kids; you can do better, you can do worse.


Anonymous said...

Though Highmore was definitely the best actor, some of the CGI critters came awfully close, particularly Thimbletack and Hogsqueal. Not a terrific movie, but much better than I expected, and my 12-year-old and 9-year-old were delighted.


E.D. Walker said...

I know you said you didn't want to read the books but the books actually did have a better ending as far as Lucy/ Arthur. In fact, the whole arc with Arthur was better in the books. Just thought that was worth mentioning.

Hello, btw. Welcome to the blogosphere! *waves*